Tuesday, March 20, 2012

One Tuesday Morning/Beyond Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury

** I know I am not doing as many book reviews as I would like but I am proud to say that after 3 years of trying to have a baby, we are PREGNANT! So with that being said, I have been very tired!**

According to Goodreads:

Based on the tragedy of the Twin Towers ... two powerful novels of heroism, loss, and redemption by New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury. ONE TUESDAY MORNING. The last thing Jake Bryan knew was the sound of the World Trade Center collapsing on top of him and his fellow firefighters. The man in the hospital bed remembers nothing. Not rushing with his teammates up the stairway of the south tower to help trapped victims. Not being blasted from the building. And not the woman sitting by his bedside who says she is his wife.Jamie Bryan will do anything to help her beloved husband regain his memory. But that means helping Jake rediscover the one thing Jamie has never shared with him: his deep faith in God.BEYOND TUESDAY MORNING: Determined to find meaning in her grief three years after the terrorist attacks on New York City, FDNY widow Jamie Bryan pours her life into volunteer work at a small memorial chapel across from where the Twin Towers once stood. There, unsure and feeling somehow guilty, Jamie opens herself to the possibility of love again. But, in the face of a staggering revelation, only the persistence of a tenacious man, questions from Jamie's curious daughter, and words from her dead husband's journal can move Jamie beyond one Tuesday morning ... toward life.

 One Tuesday Morning/Beyond Tuesday Morning, is the first Karen Kingsbury book that I have read. To say the least, I was not disappointed. The events surrounding September 11, has affected each and everyone of us in some way. 

The first book, One Tuesday Morning ; showed the events leading up to September 11th for two different families. Jamie Byran was a wife of a firefighter, Jake and they had a daughter, Sierra. Eric was an overly dedicated business man who let work take over his life. Eric was married to Laura and they had a son, Josh. I couldn't seem to put this book down! I could visualize being in the towers. I could also visualize the pain and heartache that these two wives had in common. God played a huge role in these families overcoming a tragic event.

The second book, Beyond Tuesday Morning; was about choosing to live. Jamie can remember the day just like it was yesterday. She has to make a choice to either live in the past or live for the future. I have to admit that I rooted for her in this book!! I am so happy how things turned out.

I can't wait to read the last book in this series!

I rate this book 5/5!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Hoping for Love (The McCarthys of Gansett Island #5) by Marie Force

**Hoping for Love is book #5 in The McCarthys of Gansett Island Series. While it is not necessary to read these books in order, the characters follow each other from one book to the next.**

Grace Ryan was always known as the "fat" girl for all of her life. Grace was always teased by her fellow classmates. Trying every diet known to man with no success, she opted for the lap band surgery. After losing 130 pounds and keeping it off, she is starting to have a little more confidence in herself. This of course leads her back into the dating pool. She starts dating this guy she has always had a crush on but things take a turn for the worse when he leaves her on Gansett Island without a penny to her name.

Meanwhile, Evan McCarthy is home on the Island helping his family with their Marina and waiting for his CD to launch. Evan was playing at the Tiki Bar when he noticed Grace crying. Evan comes to her rescue and falls completely head over heels for this woman. Something he swore would never happen. Evan makes it perfectly clear that he isn't into relationships. Grace makes it clear that a relationship is what she wants. Will Grace be enough to change is mind on the whole relationship thing? To find out read: Hoping for Love.

Evan and Grace's story only added to this amazing series!! Each new story that is added, brings not only a whole new romance but allows us to re-connect with the characters we came to love! This story in particular was brilliant! I found myself laughing at certain parts hysterically!

I almost feel as though I am part of the McCarthy clan. I feel as though I have experienced all their ups and downs. I laugh with them and I cry with them. I am looking forward to reading the next book, A Season for Love.

I rate this book 5/5!

Friday, February 24, 2012

I Only Have Eyes For You by Bella Andre

**I Only Have Eyes For You is book number 4 in the Sullivan Series. However, the characters show up throughout all the books, it is not necessary to read them in order**

The Look Of Love (Chase & Chloe, The Sullivans #1)
From This Moment On (Marcus & Nicola, The Sullivans #2)
Can't Help Falling In Love (Gabe & Megan, The Sullivans #3)

Look for the book, If You Were Mine coming out Summer of 2012!

This love story was yet a brilliant one by Bella Andre. In the previous books, it has all been about the Sullivan Boys, this one was about their younger sister, Sophie.

According to Goodreads:

Get ready for another Sullivan to fall in love in Bella Andre's bestselling contemporary romance series!

Sophie Sullivan, a librarian in San Francisco, was five years old when she fell head over heels in love with Jake McCann. Twenty years later, she's convinced the notorious bad boy still sees her as the "nice" Sullivan twin. That is, when he bothers to look at her at all. But when they both get caught up in the magic of the first Sullivan wedding, she knows it's long past time to do whatever it takes to make him see her for who she truly is...the woman who will love him forever.

Jake has always been a magnet for women, especially since his Irish pubs made him extremely wealthy. But the only woman he really wants is the one he can never have. Not only is Sophie his best friend's off-limits younger sister...he can't risk letting her get close enough to discover his deeply hidden secret.

Only, when Sophie appears on his doorstep as Jake's every fantasy come to life-smart, beautiful, and shockingly sexy-he doesn't have a prayer of taking his eyes, or his hands, off her. And he can't stop craving more of her sweet smiles and sinful kisses. Because even though Jake knows loving Sophie isn't the right thing to do...how can he possibly resist?

I really don't know why it is so hard for a man to admit when he is in love! This book seemed to go by faster than the others did. Maybe because I was able to read it straight through with no interruptions.  I enjoyed getting to know both Sophie's and Jake's characters. It's nice to know that the "nice" girls have a wild side. Sophie knew what she wanted and once she had the confidence in herself, she went after it.

I was a little surprised by Jake's secret considering Sophie's career choice. However, that doesn't define who a person is and Sophie realized that! I am so glad that Jake let down his guard and told Sophie about his childhood. He was so cute when it came to Sophie.

I have enjoyed reading each and every story thus far. Each story has its own unique love story. I can't wait to read Zach Sullivans story next and hopefully read a little more about Sophie and Jake along the way!

I rate this book 5/5!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Wings of Morning by Murray Pura

 **I received this book from Harvest House Publishers through NetGalley. I am not required to give a positive review, just an honest one. This review is posted on Amazon, Goodreads, and my personal blog: http://nickswifey09.blogspot.com**

 According to Goodreads:

Lovers of Amish fiction will quickly sign on as fans of award-winning author Murray Pura as they keep turning the pages of this exciting new historical romance set in 1917 during America's participation in World War I.

Jude Whetstone and Lyyndaya Kurtz, whose families are converts to the Amish faith, are slowly falling in love.

Jude has also fallen in love with flying that new-fangled invention, the aeroplane.
The Amish communities have rejected the telephone and have forbidden motorcar ownership but not yet electricity or aeroplanes.

Though exempt from military service on religious grounds, Jude is manipulated by unscrupulous army officers into enlisting in order to protect several Amish men. No one in the community understands Jude's sudden enlistment and so he is shunned. Lyyndaya's despair deepens at the reports that Jude has been shot down in France. In her grief, she turns to nursing Spanish flu victims in Philadelphia. After many months of caring for stricken soldiers, Lyyndaya is stunned when an emaciated Jude turns up in her ward.
Lyyndaya's joy at receiving Jude back from the dead is quickly diminished when the Amish leadership insist the shunning remain in force. How then can they marry without the blessing of their families? Will happiness elude them forever?

Welcome a powerful new voice to the world of Amish fiction

This book definitely took on a new twist, at least where I was concerned. I have never read another book quite like this one. This story took place around 1917, WW1 and the Spanish Influenza epidemic. At first, I was a little hesitant to read this book. However, I was pleasantly surprised.

I was shocked to find out that at that time, aeroplanes were not banned from the Amish. I was so upset when the soldiers came to the community to take the Amish men away for war. Jude showed extreme strength throughout this book. He sacrificed himself so his friends could go home safely.

The more I read Amish books, the more I fall in love with their way of life.

The description throughout this book, was fantastic. Not only did I laugh, I also cried.

I rate this book 5/5!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Following Your Heart by Jerry S. Eicher

**I received this book from Harvest House Publishers through NetGalley. I am not required to give a positive review, just an honest one.

Look for this review to be posted soon!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Missing Your Smile by Jerry S. Eicher

**I received this book from Harvest House Publishers through NetGalley. I am not required to give a positive review, just an honest one**

 Susan Hostetler decides to leaver her Amish Community after her boyfriend, Thomas Stoll broke her heart. This begins Susan's journey in Asbury Park, New Jersey and the beginning of her new English life. In a short period of time Susan gets her GED, her driver's license, and falls in love with Duane. Meanwhile her parents miss her terribly and pray for her return home.

Just as Susan was settling into English life, she meets Teresa Long, an unwed mother to be. Teresa pleads with Susan to help her find a nice Amish family to adopt her baby boy. Little did Susan know that being drawn to Teresa would also keep her drawn to her Amish roots. Will Susan help Teresa find a nice Amish family to adopt her baby? Even if it means leaving Duane behind as well? To find out read: Missing Your Smile.

I really enjoyed this book. This is the first book that I have read by Jerry S. Eicher and I wasn't disappointed. Let's talk about the story. As the story unfolded, it was apparent that Susan was not completely ready to give up her Amish roots. Keeping that in mind, she was still willing to try. Hence, she received her GED and got her drivers license. I think Susan was a God sent to Robby throughout this story. She helped him in more ways than she could even imagine.

I enjoyed that there was more than one story line going on. Of course there was Susan's story, Susan and Duane, Susan and Laura, Susan and Robby, and of course Susan's parents story. All of which kept me wanting to turn the pages. 

The ending of the story has left me waiting to start the next book in the series, Follow Your Heart. I am curious to see what happens to Teresa as she enters the Amish Community. I am also curious to see what life has in store for Susan.

I rate this book 5/5!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Love Finds You in Folly Beach, South Carolina by Loree Lough

Holly Leonard is not your ordinary doctor. In fact, she is not your ordinary Marine Biologist either. Holly is energetic, clumsy, and warm spirited. Holly embarks on her journey to Folly Beach, South Carolina to help Parker Brant with his book for the summer.

Parker, ex-military, just wants to get his book finished. He pictures Holly being this grandmother looking type of doctor. Imagine his surprise when he realizes that she is the complete opposite. At first sight, he is mesmerized by her. He can't help imagine how this summer will turn out. Is love in the air? To find out read: Love Finds You in Folly Beach, South Carolina.

I enjoyed my short visit in South Carolina. I thought this book was both fast paced at the beginning and slow paced at the end. I enjoyed the journey that Holly and Parker embarked on together. I enjoyed getting to know their characters as well as Hank and Maude.

I was a little disappointed with the ending. I thought there could have been more to it.

I did enjoy the description and the fact that I could imagine myself in the story.

I rate this book 4/5

Monday, February 6, 2012

Home Front by Kristin Hannah

**Regardless if you are a military family or not, this book will bring both joy and tears. The Home Front makes you re-think about what really matters in life; life, love, and happiness. Be prepared to ride an emotional roller coaster**

According to Goodreads:

In her bestselling novels Kristin Hannah has plumbed the depths of friendship, the loyalty of sisters, and the secrets mothers keep. Now, in her most emotionally powerful story yet, she explores the intimate landscape of a troubled marriage with this provocative and timely portrait of a husband and wife, in love and at war.

All marriages have a breaking point. All families have wounds. All wars have a cost. . . .

Like many couples, Michael and Jolene Zarkades have to face the pressures of everyday life---children, careers, bills, chores---even as their twelve-year marriage is falling apart. Then an unexpected deployment sends Jolene deep into harm’s way and leaves defense attorney Michael at home, unaccustomed to being a single parent to their two girls. As a mother, it agonizes Jolene to leave her family, but as a solider she has always understood the true meaning of duty. In her letters home, she paints a rose-colored version of her life on the front lines, shielding her family from the truth. But war will change Jolene in ways that none of them could have foreseen. When tragedy strikes, Michael must face his darkest fear and fight a battle of his own---for everything that matters to his family.

At once a profoundly honest look at modern marriage and a dramatic exploration of the toll war takes on an ordinary American family, Home Front is a story of love, loss, heroism, honor, and ultimately, hope. 

I normally try and summarize a book myself. However, I think Kristin Hannah summed it up quite well. I had my reservations about reading this book. I heard there was bad language being used. There is. However, I feel that it wasn't used out of context. In fact, if I was in the situation; it probably would have been a lot worse!

I am a military wife. I know what it is like to watch your spouse leave and go to war. I also know what it is like to be on the home front. I know I worried all the time when my husband was gone. They always tell us spouses that no news is good news. Really? For who? I must say I can relate to Michael a lot in this story. I may not have always agreed with they way he treated Jolene in the beginning but it took his wife being away at war for him to realize what he had. It happens to all of us.

My husband always says that the people you meet in the military are like family. You are with them just as much as you are with your family, sometimes more. With that being said, I can understand the bond between Jolene and Tami, a bond like only sisters have. I am so glad that they had each other when they needed each other the most.

The Home Front really hit home for me. I laughed and cried even more as the story progressed. I can totally relate to the fear that one experiences and the ups and downs that come with being associated with the military. My husband loves what he does. He is proud to be a soldier and I am so proud of him for his sacrifices. We must never forget that our soldiers wouldn't be able to do the job that they do if it wasn't for the people back on the home front and the people on the home front wouldn't be able to be strong if it wasn't for the man/woman that they stand behind.

I rate this book 5/5!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Band of Sisters: American Women at War in Iraq by Kristen Holmstedt

According to Goodreads:

 In Iraq, the front line is everywhere...and everywhere in Iraq, women in the U.S. military fight. More than 155,000 of them have served in Iraq since 2003--four times the number of women sent to Desert Storm in 1991--and more than 430 have been wounded and over 60 killed, almost twice the number of U.S. military women killed in action in Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm combined. Band of Sisters presents twelve amazing and often heart-wrenching stories of American women in the frontlines including America's first female pilot to be shot down and survive, the U.S. military's first black female combat pilot, a 21-year-old turret gunner defending a convoy, two military policewomen in a firefight, a nurse struggling to save lives, including her own and more...

I thought that I would read this book because of my affiliation with the military. I am an Army Wife. I have heard of the struggles that women have had, and still have being in the military. Many still believe that the military is not a place for a woman. 

I will say that the book, The Band of Sisters: American Women at War in Iraq was alright. I was hoping for more in-depth details about there experiences in Iraq. This book covered a handful of women's encounters as they experienced it. The writing style wasn't my cup of tea and the author seemed to only gather the basic information to write the book. I felt that more emotion and detail could have been put into writing this book.

I rate this book 3/5

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Love Finds You in Sunset Beach, Hawaii by Robin Jones Gunn

Sierra came to Sunset Beach, Hawaii for relaxation and to make one of the biggest decisions of her life; go back to Brazil or stay in the states. She did not come for the surfing, and she certainly didn't have love in mind.

Jordan came to Hawaii on an assignment. First, he was to photograph a wedding and then the surfing competition. He certainly wasn't looking for love. His career was finally taking off and he was enjoying the ride.

Jordan and Sierra happen to meet at the wedding. This is where their journey begins. Both realize the connection but are focused on business. Will Sierra and Jordan find love on Sunset Beach? Will they go their separate ways? To find out read: Love Finds You in Sunset Beach, Hawaii.

I must say that I enjoyed my journey in Hawaii. I almost felt as though I was there experiencing everything that Sierra felt. I could imagine the rain on my face, the wind blowing in my hair, and the salt on my face. The description in the book was spectacular.

For those who believe in the higher power(God), you may believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe this is true when it came to Sierra and Jordan. It was no coincidence that they were both at the wedding and neighbors in the apartment. That was God. He opens doors for you. As long as you believe.

I have enjoyed the Love Finds You in series very much. Each book I read brings a whole new adventure. I especially liked this one because of the characters. I felt as if they were friends of mine.

I rate this book 5/5! 

Friday, January 27, 2012

To Love and to Cherish( The Bliss Creek Amish)by Kelly Irvin

**I received this book from Harvest House Publishers through NetGalley. I am not required to give a positive review, just an honest one**

*This is the first book in the Bliss Creek Amish Series*

Emma's life has been turned upside down. It all started four years ago when the man she loved left the Amish community for the English life. Finally, four years later her heart has begun its healing process. That is until the unexpected death of her parents occurs. Now her heart is broken yet again.

Thomas, a widower with two children of his own has taken an interest in Emma. However, both Thomas and Emma are taken by surprise when Carl shows up out of the blue.

Will Emma chose to go back to Carl and forgive him or will she chose to start over with Thomas? To find out read: To Love and to Cherish by Kelly Irvin.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. This is the first book that I have read by this author. I must say that I really enjoyed everything this book had to offer. This book is about forgiveness, family, new beginnings, and finding love.

I enjoyed getting to know the Shirack family! Each and everyone of them are unique individuals that brought different qualities into their family. I will say, I was not fond of Leah. I think she is hard headed and cruel. However, as the book progressed, I came to a better understanding of who she really was.

This book made me laugh and cry. It also made me realize that we have to live each day to the fullest. I am truly amazed that the Amish can forgive as easily as they do. I don't know if I would be so forgiving.

I rate this book 5/5!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Falling For You (The McCarthys of Gansett Island #4) by Marie Force

**This is the 4th book in the McCarthys of Gansett Island Series. Although you don't have to read them in order, it is a good idea to do so**

Grant McCarthy thought he was living the life. He had the girl(Abby), the perfect job(screen-writer), and he even won an Academy Award. All that has changed. Abby is engaged to someone else. He hasn't written in over a year, and he is home on Gansett Island running the family business while his father recovers from his injuries.

His main focus was on winning Abby back, that is until Stephanie came in the picture. Will Stephanie be able to make Grant forget all about Abby and move on with his life?

I absolutely love this series! I look forward to reading what comes next! Although each of the books is predictable in that the boy says he will never fall in love but ends up doing just that, they each have their unique way about doing so. I loved the story line behind Grant and Stephanie. I loved how he wanted to do nothing more than help her with the predicament that she was in. I look forward to seeing how that turned out.

Stephanie is the type of girl that Grant needed. She is different that Abby. He tends to put Grant in his place when he needs it the most! I think they complement each other very well!! I look forward to reading the next book in the series Hoping For Love!

I rate this book 5/5

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Love Finds You in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania by Annalisa Daughtey

** This book is part of my 50 state challenge**

According to Goodreads:

Two women with nothing in common except the need for a friend and a fresh start. When Amish-born Lydia Ann Raber and Southern belle Caroline DeMarco discover a shared history of loss, the unlikely duo decides to open a gift shop in beautiful Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Lydia Ann is surprised to find herself drawn to handsome woodworker Simon Zook. When God offers her a second chance at love and family, will she take it? Or will the secret Simon harbors cause her even more heartbreak? For Caroline, love comes in the way of newspaper reporter Michael Landis. Their low-key romance is a dream come true for Caroline, a fugitive from an infamous past. Is Michael to blame when the paparazzi start hovering once again, or can Caroline trust him with her heart?

My jouney through Lancaster County ended too soon! I absolutely fell in love with this book as well as the characters. I love the friendship that blossomed between Caroline and Lydia Ann. I love that these two women were drawn to eachother because of the heart ache that they both experienced.

This book is about second chances at love. Just when you think that you will never love again, BANG it's staring you in the face. Simon, Lydia Ann, and Caroline learned that first hand. Michael had his second chance with his family. He missed out on so much and now that he is home, he doesn't want to leave.

A piece of my heart went out to the characters in this book.

I thought the story line was well written. The description throughout the book allowed the reader to feel as though they were right there along side the characters.

I rate this book 5/5!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio by Serena Miller

**This Book is part of my 50 State Challenge**

Rachel Troyer is a local cop in Sugarcreek Ohio. Although she is not Amish, she keeps an eye on her three elderly aunts who are. Sugarcreek is well known for tourists coming and going. Many love to buy Amish goods that are made. However, when Joe Matthews shows up, Rachel fears that he is not your ordinary tourists.

Joe and his son embark on a journey that leaves them on the door steps of Rachel's aunts. Although Rachel has her suspicions that Joe is hidding something, her aunts decide to help him.

What is this secret that has landed Joe in Sugarcreek Ohio?

This novel was fast paced! There was always something going on! The hearts that these three women possessed was amazing! They each had their own unique way about them. By the end of the book, I felt that they were part of my family. Rachel being who she is, is very protective of her aunts. Her cop instincts come out when a stranger shows up on her aunts door. The simple humor throughout the book, made it enjoyable. The love story that unfolded was one you hoped for!

I fell in love with Joe and his son Bobby! I loved how he always put his son before himself!

Not only does this story have a love story, it also has a mystery to be solved!

This was my first book in the Love Finds You In Series and I was not disappointed! I loved the short journey that I embarked in Sugarcreek, Ohio! I love forward to the next place I visit....

I rate this book 5/5!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Search (Lancaster County Secrets #3) by Suzanne Woods Fisher

**This is the third book in this series. If you haven't read the first two, you may not want to continue reading**

According to Goodreads:
Fifteen years ago, Lainey O'Toole made a split-second decision. She couldn't have known that her choice would impact so many. Now in her mid-twenties, she is poised to go to culinary school when her car breaks down in Stoney Ridge, the very Amish town in which her long-reaching decision was made, forcing her to face the shadowed past.

Bess Reihl is less than thrilled to be spending the summer at Rose Hill Farm with her large and intimidating grandmother, Bertha. It quickly becomes clear that she is there to work the farm--and work hard. The labor is made slightly more tolerable by the time it affords Bess to spend with the handsome hired hand, Billy Lapp. But he only has eyes for a flirty and curvaceous older girl.

Lainey's and Bess's worlds are about to collide and the secrets that come to light will shock them both.

Beautifully written, The Search is a skillfully woven story that takes readers through unexpected twists and turns on the long country road toward truth. Fans both old and new will find themselves immersed in this heartwarming--and surprising--tale of young love, forgiveness, and coming to grips with the past.

This book was my favorite in the series! Not only did I cry my eyes out, I also laughed so hard I cried!! I loved everything about this book! I loved how Bertha had a wild side to her! I loved how Bess grew fond of her grandmother in such a short time! I loved how it took a silly incident to bring her son Jonah home for a visit! The mischief that Bertha was up to was hilarious! I loved the bond that Bess had with her father, Jonah and how Bess grew to care for Lainey. I loved how Lainey realized that she didn't need all the "extra's" in life. All she needed was her faith in God and the people she loved. I personally have always wondered what it would be like to live as the Amish do. We tend to take so much for granted and forget that it's the simple things in life that matter most!

The book did leave you wondering if there may be another one to follow somewhere down the line. This book also touches on second chances. I am sure we all have asked for a second chance before! A truly great read!

I rate this book 5/5!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Waiting (Lanaster County Secrets #2) by Suzanne Woods Fisher

**This is the second book in the series, the first book being The Choice. If you have not read the first book, you may not want to continue reading**

All Jorie King has ever wanted to do was marry Ben. However, her plans are put on hold when he is sent(actually signs up) for war. Now she patiently awaits the day he returns to Lancaster County.

Ben's brother Caleb is dealing with a tragedy himself. His wife dies at a young age leaving Caleb(now the minister) to care for his daughter and his brothers.

The day arrives when Jorie finds out that her Ben has been killed. Caleb and Jorie both devestated over the news, turn to each other for comfort. Their friendship turns into love. Can their broken hearts mend together? They thought so. That is until the unimaginable happens. Can love conquer all??

I don't even know where to begin! This book had my attention from the very first page! This book is not your usual Amish Romance. This book has a twist to it. The events in this book could very well happen in real life. The description in the book made you feel apart of the story. The characters were well thought out and pulled at your heart.

The Waiting, is a story about love, faith, and family. In times of need, family is always there for eachother.

I rate this book 5/5!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas in Sugarcreek: A Christmas Seasons of Sugarcreek Novel (Seasons of Sugarcreek) by Shelley Shepard Gray

Christmas in Sugarcreek brings back all of our favorite characters from the first three books in the Seasons of Sugarcreek Series. The main characters in this story all suffer from the same thing; they do not think highly of themselves. This story focuses on Judith & Ben, Caleb & Rebecca, and Lily & Robert.

This holiday season seems to be a busy one for all. However, does that mean that love will not be found as well? This holiday season will these individuals find what they have been longing for? To find out, read: Christmas in Sugarcreek!

Christmas is not about who receives the most gifts or whose gift is most expensive. It is about the birth of Christ and counting your blessings for the things that you do have. I was so glad that this book focused a little more on the younger siblings, Caleb and Judith. I am sure at one point or another we all have felt that we weren't good enough or that we didn't belong. All it took to change that feeling was one person to believe in you.

Judith & Caleb found true happiness where they least expected it. Lily finally realized that Robert loved her for her. This book was about the true meaning of Christmas!

I rate this book 5/5!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Autumn's Promise (Seasons of Sugarcreek #3) by Shelley Shepard Gray

**This is book 3 in the Seasons of Sugarcreek Series. If you have not read the first two books, you may not want to continue reading**

According to Goodreads:

Until Robert Miller met Lilly Allen, his world had been dark. A widower after only two years of marriage, he's been living in a haze, filled with grief. He feels his life is already over-even though he's only twenty-five.
But his friendship with Lilly changes everything. For the first time since he can remember, he finds new reasons to wake up each day. Soon, he knows he's falling in love with Lilly. However, he also knows a marriage between the two of them can never happen. Lilly Allen is only eighteen. She had become pregnant out of wedlock. And, she's an Englisher. He, of course, is Amish.
Lilly also feels a strong attraction to Robert. She admires his quiet strength and dependability. She's also in awe of his devotion to his wife's memory. Lilly knows she could never measure up to his perfect Amish wife. She also comes to realize that no matter how much she might love a person, she can't change who she is. She loves Robert--not the Amish faith. No matter how much she loves him...she doesn't know if she'll ever be able to give up her independence and reliance on the modern world in order to say vows.

Coming from different worlds, does their love stand a chance?

Another great book by Shelley Shepard Gray! I have read the first three books of the series within three days!! I can't seem to put them down. I must say, I think this book is my favorite so far. The story of Robert Miller and Lilly Allen pulled at my heart. I must say this story line, an Amish man falling for an English woman; was a little different. Nonetheless, a terrific story!

You can't help who you fall in love with. Robert and Lilly found that out first hand. Even though they are from different worlds, sacrifices were made so they could be together. They knew it wouldn't be easy but they decided to take the blunge. I can't wait to read the last book in the series, A Christmas in Sugarcreek.

I rate this book 5/5!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Spring's Renewal (Seasons of Sugarcreek #2) by Shelley Shepard Gray

**This is the 2nd book in the Seasons of Sugarcreek Series. If you haven't read the first book, you may not want to read this review**

According to Goodreads:

Tim Graber arrives in Sugarcreek to help his aunt and uncle with spring planting. At first, Tim doesn't fit in with his many cousins and their crowded lifestyle. But when he meets Clara Slabaugh, the local school teacher, he understands why the Lord brought him to Sugarcreek. Clara is shy and quiet. Scarred from a fire when she was small, Clara has resigned herself to living alone and caring for her mother, who tells her that no man will ever see past her scars, and that Clara needs to keep teaching in order to make ends meet. Her father passed away years ago, and her mother depends on her. But the scars mean nothing to Tim. He appreciates her quiet nature and her wonderful, loving way with children. Yet Tim has a sweetheart back home in Indiana. As these two hearts struggle to determine their path, tragedy strikes, and every other worry seems insignificant in comparison. Though they now face a life they never imagined, will Tim and Clara have the faith to step out and risk everything for a chance at true love?

Spring's Renewal is the second book in the series: Seasons of Sugarcreek. In this book, we are introduced to two new people. Tim Graber(The Graber's nephew) and Clara Slabaugh( the school teacher). I loved how Clara was portrayed in this story. Some looked at her as being "ugly" or "imperfect" because of her scars. However, it took the love of Tim to turn all of that around. He thought she was beautiful both on the inside and on the outside. He made her feel like she has never felt before. That is extremely important for a woman. I also loved how the Amish and English came together at the end to help in a crisis. It shows that no matter where you are from or who you are that can all be put aside.

Each character in their own way pulled at my heart. However, Clara and Tim pulled at my heart the most. Things happen for a reason and that is what this book is all about! I can't wait to begin reading Autumns Promise!

I rate this book 5/5!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Winter's Awakening (Seasons of Sugarcreek #1) by Shelley Shepard Gray

We are in a new year! Time to start it off with the first book review of 2012!

According to Goodreads:

 Joshua Graber knows his future is set. He′s expected to work at his family business, the Graber Country Store. He′s expected to marry Gretta Hershberger, who he′s been courting for several years. But when a new English family moves next door and their lovely teenage daughter, Lilly Allen, catches his eye, Joshua wonders if all the plans for his future are too set in stone.

Gretta doesn′t know what′s going on with Joshua. When they argue and later stew in silence, it feels a lot like the frosty atmosphere at her home. After promising herself to never have a marriage like her parents, she wonders if perhaps another man might be a better match. A man such as Roland Schrock. He′s steady and kind and somewhat boring. If she marries him, she won′t ever have to worry about loving him and getting hurt.

Meanwhile, Lilly is enamored with the Amish way of life, and especially her handsome neighbor Joshua. But despite being drawn to him, she has a secret that will only drive him away. Her family moved to Sugarcreek to hide her pregnancy from their community back home. Once she′s had the baby, they plan to send her off to college without anyone from their old neighborhood knowing the truth. But as Lilly becomes wrapped up in the simplicity and graciousness of the Amish people, she begins to question what′s expected of her, and whether giving up her baby, and leaving Sugarcreek, is what she truly wants.

As the coldest winter on record blows into Sugarcreek, these three young people must struggle to determine the path of their futures.

Winter's Awakening is the first book in the Seasons of Sugarcreek Series by Shelley Shepard Gray. I have read other Amish fiction stories and this one seemed slightly different. I am not sure if some of what was said in this book were actual facts among the amish. At times, I couldn't picture an Amish individual doing what was being described. However, putting that aside; overall the book was well written. The description of the events taking place allowed the reader to visually place themselves in the story! The story line was a good one. I look forward to reading the next book in the series: Spring's Renewal